Thursday, December 2, 2010

Winter Extravaganza: Sarah Ockler

Sarah Ockler is the author of Twenty Boy Summer and Fixing Delilah.

SUMMARY: Things in Delilah Hannaford's life have a tendency to fall apart. She used to be a good student, but she can't seem to keep it together anymore. Her "boyfriend" isn't much of a boyfriend. And her mother refuses to discuss the fight that divided their family eight years ago. Falling apart, it seems, is a Hannaford tradition. Over a summer of new friendships, unexpected romance, and moments that test the complex bonds between mothers and daughters, Delilah must face her family's painful past. Can even her most shattered relationships be pieced together again? Rich with emotion, Sarah Ockler delivers a powerful story of family, love, and self-discovery. (Published on December 1, 2010.)


What was your initial reaction to the beautiful cover of Fixing Delilah, and did you have any input in its creation?

When I first saw the cover, I was totally surprised! I loved it! We had a different cover on the ARC, and the new one was such a departure. I simply adore the paper dolls -- the image (especially the torn piece) really captures the family elements of the story. Finding the right cover for a book is so tricky, and after I shared some early thoughts on the imagery and symbolism in the story, my publisher went through a lot of different images and cover mockups until they found the perfect fit for
Fixing Delilah.

What part of your book did you enjoy writing the most?

I really enjoyed developing the relationships between the women in Fixing Delilah. I don't have sisters, and I grew up with a dad and uncles and brothers and tons of boy cousins, so it was really
challenging and fun for me to explore the dynamics between Delilah, her mother, and her aunt and to imagine the intense love, the rivalry, the ups and downs that lots of girls and women experience in their families. Of course, I'm not going to lie... it was pretty fun to
write the love scenes between Delilah and Patrick, too! ;-)

Describe Delilah in three words?

Reckless. Independent. Lovable.

What do you hope readers will take away with them?

At one point in the story, Delilah thinks, "I wonder how much we don't see. How much of our lives we witness and accept as truth when the rest of the iceberg -- the heaviest, bulkiest part -- is buried and invisible." I hope that readers will come away from Fixing Delilah with an understanding that there is an entire world inside each of us -- our secrets, our hopes and fears, our dreams and wishes, our mistakes and shame, our life experiences. We can never know everything about another person, but we can assume that we have this in common: we're all capable of screwing up, and we're all capable of immense love. I especially hope that moms and daughters remember that and come away from Delilah's story with a new appreciation for one another, even when things aren't perfect.

Do you have any family holiday traditions?

Every Christmas my mother gets us matching PJs -- she and I usually end up with something similar or even identical and girly, and then my dad, my husband, and my two brothers end up in some variation on the same boy-theme. The thing is, we're not allowed to wear the PJs to bed. We have to put them on Christmas morning so they look all nice for pictures. We've been doing this since we were kids, so sometimes my brothers and I will trade PJs just to mix it up, or my dad will put on a Santa tie to really bring the whole ensemble together. Yes, it's totally embarrassing, but I love it anyway! Here's a pic of me and mom last Christmas in our fuzzy PJs that make us look like giant marshmallow peeps! Who knows what this year will bring?!

What's on your Christmas list this year?

Aside from those new PJs, I'm hoping for... books! What else? ;-)

Do you have a pile of books ready to dig into during the holiday season, and if yes what are they?

During the holidays, I always get into a paranormal mood. I just love curling up under a blanket by the fire with a spooky, dark story! To that end, after soliciting a bunch of recommendations on Twitter, I just compiled a list on Goodreads of YA books about witches. I'm starting this week off with Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, and then I'll dive into the Wicked series by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie. I'm also thinking about re-reading Harry
Potter, but that's a pretty big commitment! Witches first! If you'd like to check out the witch list, here's the link:

Do you have a favorite Christmas carol?

I've always loved Silent Night. So simple and beautiful. I also like the Ringing of the Bells and Greensleeves, any classical Christmas music, certain jazz stuff like Etta James Christmas, and of course the soundtrack from Charlie Brown Christmas, not to mention the Chipmunks Christmas which was like the soundtrack of our childhood Christmases, and I have this Celtic Christmas CD I like a lot... I actually love Christmas music!

What do you imagine winter will be like 100 years from now?

Hmmm. 100 years? Probably warmer, with a lot of fake snow pumped in for the occasion. It's almost too scary to think about!

Thanks again for hosting me today, Ashley! Happy holidays to you and all book lovers! :-)

Sarah, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions and sharing some insight about your book and winter!


ORDER THIS BOOK ONLINE: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Borders | Book Depository

FIND SARAH ONLINE: Website | Blog | Twitter | Goodreads


*Remember, you can get an entry into the comment contest by leaving a valid comment about this interview! Full rules, entering, and details by clicking that link.


  1. I wish we had a family tradition for the holidays. But I love the whole 'PJ thing! Except I would't want that as a tradition (sorry!)

    I also agree with you on the whole 'fake snow in the future' thing. But nothing can really replace real snow!

  2. No, I want winter in 100 years!! I love this season, and the more snow the better. I pray for 4 and 5 feet at a time so that I can just lie low for a few days and have bit of a hibernation. Thanks for the interview and for writing awesome books that my students love to read!

  3. What a fun family tradition. Thanks for sharing it.

  4. That's a cute tradition! I would want to be able to sleep in the new pj's though.

  5. Those pjs look like Snuggies... I'm not sure how I feel about that. It's cute that you all wear your PJs though :)

  6. I love hearing about other people's holiday traditions. sounds awesome :)

  7. I love how this interview was christmas themed and mixed in with Fixing Delilah. I'm also hoping for books this year too.
    Hope you enjoy your Christmas in 22 days!

  8. Love the PJ tradition (my sisters and I have are own tradition of a slumber party on Christmas Eve).

  9. My mom loves PJ's too! She always gets us a pair on Christmas! But I'm really hoping for some books this year too. There are so many good books I can't wait to read!

  10. Mary D

    Books and PJs (I call 'em *jammies* lol) are the perfect combination. I think that's a wonderful family tradition, and love hearing the unique ways each of celebrate!

  11. i'm reading this now. it's good so far :)

  12. I loved this book!

    And, my family totally does the pj thing too! Although, we open ours Christmas Eve, and we are supposed to sleep in them.

  13. I would love to read this book and the interview questions were quite enlightening :)
    love Christmas time


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